Spotlight on Innovations and Achievements: Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio
We're highlighting the cutting-edge programs and successful strategies used by the 2018 recipients of n4a's Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards in this weekly spotlight feature. This week we're focusing on a program from the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio: Mitigating Malnutrition with Farm Fresh Delivery for Kinship Families. Based in Toledo, OH, the agency was a 2018 a winner in the Nutrition category.
The Mitigating Malnutrition with Farm Fresh Delivery for Kinship Families program coordinates a monthly exchange of a box of fresh produce delivered from local farmers to participants. The goal of the program is to reduce food insecurity and mitigate malnutrition in families with grandparents as the caretakers of grandchildren, due to the fact that older adults who are taking care of children are 16 times more likely to experience food insecurity. The program also provides cooking demonstrations and nutrition education so participants know how to best use the produce they are provided.
The program was launched in tandem with another program, the Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program. The team at Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio decided to create produce packages with leftover funds from its Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which resulted in two very successful programs.
Agencies seeking to replicate the Mitigating Malnutrition with Farm Fresh Delivery for Kinship Families program in their communities should be aware of two hurdles—funding and forming relationships with area farmers. Staff said that overcoming these two hurdles can lead to great success. The team is still advocating for funding for this crucial program that has made a difference in many lives, of both children and their grandparents. One hundred percent of participants said the produce packages allowed them to expand their food budget, serve more nutritious food and have more time to spend caring for their grandchildren.
To learn more about Mitigating Malnutrition with Farm Fresh Delivery for Kinship Families Program, contact Billie Johnson, President/CEO of the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about last year's winners, read our press release and check out our book of winners to learn how your agency can implement this or similar programs in your community!